• Jan 31st 2008 at 3:54PM
  • 14
Ohio legislators are changing laws that allow any hybrid into the HOV lane. This means that GM's SUV hybrids are no longer allowed in the get-to-work-on-time lanes. House Bill 62, sponsored by state Rep. Todd Kiser, R-Sandy, would bring Ohio in line with the new national standards which only include hybrids that improve mileage by 50 percent in the city or 25 percent overall. Smaller SUV hybrids like the hybrid Toyota Highlander would still be allowed in Ohio's HOV lanes.
So, full size hybrid SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe two-mode hybrid, which only gets an MPG improvement of 40 percent (10 percent shy) will not be allowed in Ohio's HOV lane. The good news is that people who already have the license plate sticker allowing them to drive in the HOV lane by themselves won't get them taken back. New buyers of the Chevy Tahoe two-mode hybrid buyers, though, won't get the sticker. If Ohio does not comply with the national standard, national highway funding could be effected.

So, if you live in Ohio and planned on buying the Tahoe hybrid soon, do it now before the law changes and you lose this perk. What do you think readers: is the EPA wrong to exclude Chevy's SUV hybrids or did GM just make 'em too big?

[Source: Salt Lake Tribune]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who comes up with these stupid laws in the first place. This is dumber than the CAFE standards. Want to encourage people to drive more efficient vehicles? Let the price of gas increase. Cutting federal subsidies and benefits to oil producers, refiners, and transporters will let market forces determine the price of gas and encourage people to go green directly.

      No one in government seems willing to do this...

      ...except Ron Paul :-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually, I really like a modification of GoodCheer's idea: set the HOV limit for yearly carbon dioxide emissions per person, then divide the emissions of your car by that limit and it will tell you the minimum number of occupants you need in the car to ride in the HOV lane. Put that number on the sticker so the cops can bag you when you're under par!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Taser, 106% over the class baseline the government created. It's at the EPA link in the article. The link is pretty interesting actually.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually 37.5% ; 16 up to 22 MPG for RWD version.
      That is not very close to 50% at all. Also these
      beasts are lucky ever to get near 20 Mpg in good
      conditions. Keep them in the regular lanes!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota Highlander 2WD: 18/24
      Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 27/25

      So on the highway (where carpool lanes are) it uses a whopping 4% less gas. In the city it uses 33% less (50% better mpg).

      Tahoe 1500 2WD: 14/20
      Tahoe Hybrid (2WD): 21/22

      On the highway (where carpool lanes are), it uses 10% less gas. In the city it uses 33% less (50% better mpg).

      I cannot see how these rules exclude the Tahoe. It increases mpg more than the Highlander, in fact it increases it twice as much on the highway.

      What gives?

      Personally, I think no hybrid or even ZEV should be exempt from carpool requirements. Those lanes are there to reduce congestion and letting people drive alone doesn't do that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This will really screw the six people in Ohio that are going to buy a hybrid Tahoe this year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like Peter's solution... though I would say -fuel consumption per occupant- so that the lane continues to encourage car-pooling (hence "High Occupancy Vehicle" lane).

      It would be hard to enforce though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Harvest is correct. EVERY time the government tries to "help", they only cause more problems.

      We MUST pay them to "protect" us. Kind of like the Mafia… only dumber.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's "AFFECTED," not "EFFECTED."

      But seriously, a CO2 per seat emissions rating would work best. I'm afraid this will discount the still meaningful improvement in efficiency for these stupid things. I loathe Tahoes, but anything that significantly improves mileage should be encouraged.

      Of course, the simplest solution is to go pick up three of your buddies in your Tahoe to share your commute. Wham! Instantly better than a Prius by yourself. Thinking smart can beat tech any time. But Smart + Tech is the ultimate winner.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The state sets rules about which vehicles are allowed in the carpool lane, and there are federal standards that the state must meet to qualify for highway funds. In California, only the most efficient hybrids qualify for the Clean Air sticker: Insight, Civic Hybrid and Prius. CNG cars, electric cars, and motorcycles can also drive alone in the carpool.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So, what car is the Prius compared to for fuel savings?
      • 7 Years Ago
      IMHO no petroleum-burning, half-baked (non-plug-in) hybrid should get a free pass in the HOV lane anyhow. Save it for BEVs and PHEVs, says I.

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